Contact Information:

September 20, 2002 — DignityUSA, the national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters, today expressed profound sadness at the closure of the Los Angeles Archdiocese Ministry to Lesbian and Gay Catholics.

"This is tremendously sad news for us, and for all who have been a part of this outreach," said Patrick McArron of San Diego, President of DignityUSA. "It’s even sadder news for the larger Church. This was truly an attempt to reach out to the marginalized and the outcast, as Jesus did in his ministry. To shut down such a ministry is a shame."

Marianne Duddy, DignityUSA Executive Director, added, "Gay and lesbian Catholics and our families get hurt by the Church over and over. Gay Catholics really do have special spiritual needs. We don’t always trust that we are welcome in a local parish. Our parents are often afraid to tell their local priest they have a lesbian daughter or gay son. The Archdiocesan Ministry to Lesbian and Gay Catholics helped people feel welcome. Now, those who dared to venture back into the Church will feel cast out again."

McArron and Duddy added that Dignity Chapters in the Los Angeles area, as well as the national organization, reach out to those affected by the closure of the Archdiocesan Ministry. "We welcome all who want the support of fellow Catholics to come and join us," said McArron. "Dignity has been serving the Gay and Lesbian community for 33 years - more than twice as long as the Archdiocesan program. In fact, Dignity took root in Los Angeles and from there grew into an international organization with chapters throughout North America; later to become DignityUSA and Dignity/Canada/Dignite. We will be doing this work for as long as people need us."

Dignity offers affirming worship for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their supporters in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and San Diego, as well as many other locations around the country. Information is available at

DignityUSA is the nation’s oldest and foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is a nonprofit organization with members and Chapters throughout the US.

DignityUSA, 1500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 11, Washington, DC 20005